Saturday, 3 February 2018

REVIEW OF “PEACE LILY” by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey (Strauss House Productions, 2018)

I first found out about this wonderful book on Facebook*.  I must admit the book really took my breath away – the pictures, painted by Martin Impey (who did the illustrations for the book “War Horse”), are beautiful and the story, written in verse by Hilary Robinson, is very poignant.  I hold my hand up – I was moved to tears.  Although this book has been written to help children understand the admirable contribution of women to the First World War effort, I am certain that it will appeal to people of all ages.  The story centres around some children growing up in a village in Britain during the pre WW1 years in a very, very different world to that we know today.  For the characters in the book, who go on to participate in the conflict, there is a happy ending and I really loved the ‘photograph album’ at the very end of the book.

I feel this book is very important.  Why?   I suppose, at heart I am still the three year old staring at Grandpa’s print of “Goodbye Old Man” by Fortunino Matania, wondering what on earth happened to the poor horse.  Grandpa was an Old Contemptible with the Royal Field Artillery and I have commemorated the First World War all my life, yet it was not until I began researching six years ago for a series of commemorative exhibitions in the Centenary years that I realised the extent to which women were involved.  I had no idea quite so many died or were killed while serving either – “Peace Lily” goes a long way to putting that right.

“Peace Lily” costs £8.99 and is to be launched on 8th March 2018 to coincide with International Women’s Day and as an aid for the schools programme visiting the Battlefields of Ypres and The Somme.  There are other books by Robinson and Impey in this delightful series about the First World War and I for one am going to buy copies of them all for the young (and not so young) members of my family who I know will love them.

For more information, please see

 Lucy London, February 2018

1 comment:

  1. Hello Lucy
    I have just found your blog post by googling the name of our house, Cronkley, which is in Knebworth. We have discovered that Gertrude Roskell is remembered on the war memorial in Welwyn Village.
    Sue Clark